Archive for the ‘Automobile’ Category

What can we do about the texting & driving epidemic?

Posted on: No Comments

Stop it!

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand over the past 4 or 5 years, you’re probably tired of hearing how dangerous texting and driving is. We’re all well aware that it has quickly become a leading cause of car accidents and auto-related fatalities. So? Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, we’ve known that for 30 years, yet people are still smoking. Sure you say you’re all about safe driving and you claim that you don’t text and drive, but how truthful are you being to yourself? You’re still glancing at your phone now and then when you hear that little notification tone. Maybe you didn’t respond, but you still looked away from the road. Do you text with kids in the car? Let’s not even go there.

Rather than just provide another reminder of the dangers of texting and driving, this article will serve as a notice of what’s happening and what you can do to help the war on texting and driving. More

A bit about Statutory Limits – State minimum insurance limit requirements

State minimum insurance requirements are minimal. Most states demand less than $100,000 for bodily injuries and $50,000 for property damage. Some states require only $10,000 for property damage coverage.

How many cars valued at greater than $10,000 travel the highways? How many trucks carrying cargo are worth more than $10,000? $50,000? $100,000?

According to the 2010 census, the median family net worth exceeded $200,000. That amount includes houses, cars, savings, retirement funds, cash in the bank, college savings, and furniture and personal effects. Half the families are worth more, half have assets less than $200,000; all of it is hard earned.

If the family is underinsured for liability, their net worth is vulnerable to be seized in a lawsuit based on injuries or property damage caused by any family member driving a vehicle. The car owner and the car driver become parties to the suit.

Bodily injuries sustained in car wrecks devastate lives. People unable to work, the high cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses, and the pain and suffering can only be compensated with money. The money comes from the insurance company or the liable party’s personal wealth.

Not convinced you need higher limits? Not all liabilities are released in bankruptcy. Many states have specific legislation disallowing debt reduction for certain accidents, most notably driving while intoxicated. Wage plans reduce take home pay by as much as 33%. Many employers do not tolerate either bankruptcy or wage garnishments.

Still not convinced? How about a selfish motivation?

Other drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. Most insurance companies will not provide uninsured motorist coverage in limits greater than the liability limits of the policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage from your policy pays on behalf of the driver who hits you if they are poorly insured. In a classic exercise of the golden rule, insurance companies only sell limits commensurate with the protection you offer others.

Proper limits of liability allow you to protect yourself from the improper coverage other people maintain.

So how much coverage is enough? What are reasonable limits of liability?

Ask our insurance professionals. And consider this:

Your assets are your excess insurance coverage. This means that when the limits of your policy are reached, your assets are at risk. Excess insurance Umbrella policies, for example is available in $1 million layers over your Automobile and Homeowners liability limits if those limits qualify are high enough. Protect yourself against underinsured drivers by increasing your uninsured motorist coverage.

www.FittsInsurance.com

888.697.6542

Winterizing Your Car

Posted on: No Comments

Yes, it’s that time again — time to fish the snow tires and ice-scraper out from the depths of your garage. Here are some additional ways to help protect you and your car this winter:

• Use snow tires or chains for icy conditions.

• In extreme temperatures use an engine heating system.

• Make sure the rear window defroster works.

• Install winter wipers and make sure the wind-shield washer is full of non-freezable fluid.

• Check the radiator antifreeze; have it refilled if necessary.

• Check the battery, belts, and brakes.

However, the most important thing for you to remember this winter season is to avoid driving in storms. Although the idea sounds straight forward enough, the National Weather Service says 70% of fatalities related to ice and snow occur in automobiles. Once your car is prepared for the winter weather, call us. We’ll be sure your insurance is ready for the season as well.

Steer clear of car breakins

Posted on: 1 Comment

car break inOne Saturday, Jenny stopped by the mall for some afternoon shopping. The parking lot was packed, but she found a space at the very back of the lot. After she ate some lunch and shopped for a few hours, Jenny strolled back to her car—only to find that her passenger window was broken, and her laptop and iPod were missing. Her heart plummeted into her stomach, and she wasn’t sure what to do. If you’ve ever walked into a parking lot or your own driveway to discover a thief has broken into your car, you’re probably all too familiar with that terrible sinking feeling. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to stop car robbers in their tracks. These criminals go for the simple jobs, so they usually choose vehicles that are parked in remote areas and have valuables in plain view.

Don’t make yourself an easy target. Follow these five easy tips to steer clear of car breakins: More

Do you know your Risk Definitions?

If you want to manage risk within your firm, you need to familiarize yourself with riskmanagement language. Here are some basic definitions, provided by the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, which you can use to build your knowledge base:

  • Exposure: A situation, practice or condition that might lead to a loss; an activity
    or resource (assets, people).
  • Peril: A “cause” of loss; an event that might cause a loss.
  • Hazard: A condition within an exposure that might lead to an incident; “a peril
    about to happen.”
  • Incident: An event that disrupts normal activities and might become a loss or
    claim; “a near miss.” Lifecycle of an incident: Preincident,incident, immediate
    postincident,post incident, rehabilitation (repair, recovery).
  • Accident: An incident resulting in injury or damage to person or property which has, or will become, a loss or
    claim; “an unplanned event definite as to time and place that causes bodily injury or property damage.”
  • Occurrence: An accident with the limitation of time removed.
  • Loss: A reduction in value.
  • Claim: A demand or obligation for payment as a result of a loss.
  • Frequency: The number of times an incident occurs.
  • Severity: The monetary impact of a loss.
  • Expected losses: Loss projections (“loss pics”) based on probability distributions and statistics; frequently
    developed using actuarial techniques.

For a complimentary review of the risks your business faces, please feel free to contact us at any time.

888.697.6542

www.FittsInsurance.com

Cover Yourself with and Umbrella

Posted on: No Comments

In today’s “litigation culture,” with million dollar legal settlements all too common, anyone including you and your family could easily face ruin from a lawsuit, whether serious or frivolous. Even if you won, you’d be out thousands of dollars in defense costs.
A Personal Liability Umbrella can help ensure financial peace of mind by providing coverage up to an amount you’ve selected over and above the Liability limits under your Auto or Homeowners policy. Insurance companies often set minimum limits for Umbrella coverage. If you’re sued, the bulk of the settlement will come from your Homeowners or Auto policy, with the Umbrella picking up the rest. Bear in mind that many insurers will only offer this coverage if they write both your Home and Auto insurance. More

Understanding the claim payment process

An insurance adjuster is responsible for inspecting damage to a home following a claim. These individuals are also responsible for offering a specific sum of money that is to be used by the policyholder for necessary repairs. As a general rule, the first check received from the insurance company is meant as an advance toward the total amount of the settlement. It’s important to remember that it’s not the final payment. Separate checks are issued for each category of damage. Checks to cover living expenses are usually also sent separately. More

Do you have the RV insurance you need?

Your motor home is your pride and joy whether you live in it year round or just take it out a few times a year for those on the road getaways. It also represents a significant investment that needs protection against damage or financial risk.

Depending on your needs, you can buy coverage on your RV either as an add on to your standard Personal Auto insurance or as a separate Recreational Vehicle policy. Either way, since the vehicle is also a home on wheels, it faces a variety of exposures: More

Homeowners Insurance and Social Gatherings

Many homeowners enjoy throwing parties for holidays or special events. If a party is in the near future, be sure that individual Homeowners coverage is adequate. Guests who are injured might need to file an injury claim if their vehicle is damaged, if they fall down or if a pet bites them. Research shows that about 75% of adult homeowners who plan social gatherings in their homes do not have a personal umbrella policy. This makes them more vulnerable to lawsuits stemming from guests who suffer injuries. The same research study showed that the remainder of the homeowners surveyed did not know what type of coverage they had. This means it is likely that the percentage of homeowners who do not have adequate coverage is more than 75%. However, they should have this extra coverage to protect themselves from lawsuits. Although dog bites and falls are common, alcohol is one liability issue that is often overlooked but is very risky. More